Johnny Depp Speaks to the Gathering of Nations

Johnny Depp Speaks to the Gathering of Nations

Johnny Depp sent a video message to the 2013 Gathering of Nations Pow Wow!

Is Johnny Depp Native American?

Johnny Depp is not Native American by heritage. While he has portrayed Native American characters in films like “The Lone Ranger” and “The Brave,” his ancestry does not include Native American heritage. Depp himself has acknowledged his mixed ancestry, with European roots primarily from his father's side and possibly some distant Native American ancestry, though he has not claimed tribal affiliation nor made it a focal point of his identity.

It's important to note that Depp's portrayals of Native American characters have been subject to criticism and debate, particularly regarding issues of cultural appropriation and representation in Hollywood. While his performances have often been praised for their depth and complexity, they have also sparked conversations about the casting of non-Native actors in Native roles and the need for greater authenticity and respect in storytelling.

Video Transcript

Greetings and salutations my dear brothers and sisters welcome to the 30th Annual Gathering of Nations powwow.

Last year, I had the pleasure of visiting and working with many great people, tribes, and nations. Never before have I undergone such a warm and valuable working experience. The many people I was fortunate enough to meet filled me with such a sense of pride toward my own ancestry, your ancestry, our ancestry. I learned so much that indeed, I received so much. Being adopted by the Comanche Nation under the guidance of my amazing Kaman Pia, the beautiful Ladana Vita Tabiti Harris, and of course, the late Chairman Johnny Waka, was an honor unlike any I've ever known. To spend time with the new chairman, William Vulker, and of course, Troy from CA, along with the inhabitants of Canyon Desay and Monument Valley, and the Navajo Nation, was truly special. To spend time with the people of Moab, Utah, Santa Fe, Angel Fire, Laguna, and Hemis Pueblos in New Mexico, and to all the wonderful and amazing people of Lancaster, Acton, Arcadia, Lone Pine, California, was a privilege unlike any other. I felt truly blessed by some strange and unknown force.

I'm also very regretful that I am not able to share this weekend with you, to meet with many other incredible people, tribes, and nations that I have yet to encounter. But I know that our time will come soon. Until then, I want you all to know that I'm there with you all in both spirit and soul, always. I salute and I serve you all, all Indian peoples, all Indian tribes, and nations. You have my eternal respect, and I wish you a great, wonderful weekend and a triumphant power. UDA, thank you.

Last Updated on February 19, 2024 by Paul G

About Paul G

Paul G is the founder, who wears many hats as a business coach, photographer, and collector of quirky shirts. Paul started in 1996 while pursuing his graduate degree. With a passion for travel, he and his family hav  traveled the world, capturing unforgettable memories and photos. When he's not coaching or clicking, he's indulging in the magic of Disney.

20 Comments on “Johnny Depp Speaks to the Gathering of Nations”

  • Avatar for Ramona



    So glad that Johnny was able to attend a pow wow. So he might be tsa la gi. And how many others more need to be recognized and who’s to say he means well well time will tell just like we have been facing for years.

    • Avatar for Wanda Mclean

      Wanda Mclean


      I think it is sad when we as Native Americans ( the TRUE American) put focus on what tribe Johnny depp is from. And yes, lots of people call themselves Cherokee 1st. when they claim Indian heritage . I think it is because we( all tribes) are only recognized on a English holiday or when it’s applicable to the situation. What we should do to Johnny is ask him to lift us up ( all tribes ) as much as possible and whenever possible . He has a platform that could be used as a voice for us ( all tribes). Instead of being worried about what tribe he is from . Let’s surround him with our love and concerns for our people. Yes, he is an actor and famous. But missing an opportunity because he is not from a certain tribe , is just that a missed opportunity. I believe anyone can get caught up in the moment but let’s ask him to use the very platform that he thinks is nothing……A VOICE….. Ya, know sometimes people don’t know that there is anything wrong until they ask, rt? Not that everyone doesn’t know that Americans have been mistreated over and over. Not at all what I’m saying. I’m proud to be Native American. So, proud I named my first daughter “ Cherokee”. I wanted anyone who called her name to immediately know her heritage. I love my heritage. I guess what I’m saying ; not to get off track . It we need to use Johnny , in a good way, to voice our concerns to any and all that might otherwise NEVER know. Be blessed with family and peace🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼

  • Avatar for Wehani



    Aho. Thank you for your respect and kindness. I will keep that within my heart each time I dance, just as I do for my ancestors. Many blessings to you, Mr. Depp. Witsatalogi. – Wehani of the Cherokee Nation

  • Avatar for MN Ojibwe

    MN Ojibwe


    I am saddened and disheartened that Native people would hold this man in such high regard. He is the biggest phony. He is an ACTOR after all. He is a poser. Everyone who wants to be Indian says they are Cherokee. Everything he said in this video isn’t for the benefit of Natives. It is only to benefit him. I’m not sure why I can see through him but everything that is wrong about this video. People need to get the stars out of their eyes and step back and see this guy for what he really is.

    Didn’t anyone hear about him wanting to buy Pine Ridge so he could “fix” us?

    • Avatar for Eleanor Hotchkiss

      MN Ojibwe You are so right i heard him also say how he was going to buy Pine Ridge then nothing.

  • Avatar for Terrance Bise

    Terrance Bise


    Wa’do Johnny

  • Avatar for Claudette clause

    Claudette clause


    Johnny , I am from the Tuscarora Nation it was nice to hear you give so many Nations Respect , I am glad you found your path, it’s a life journey to make your soul who the creator always saw you to be. May the light guide you & Feel the grass with your feet to ground your soul on your travels ! Nya:we- Thank you

  • Avatar for Tammy Turner

    Tammy Turner


    I would like to find out about my heritage I am told that I have Native American Indian in me but I was Adopted and dont know much about my real family. I have children and on their fathers side their great grandmother was full blooded Native American. dont know from what tribe though. would like to find out we know she was from the Kansas area and the Iraqous Nation. That is all that we have found out so far but would like to find out more if anyone could help that would be nice.

  • Avatar for Melissa



    I’m kinda jealous. I’ve always wanted to go to a pow wow. I found out a year ago that I’m a 9th Cherokee and a 1/4th So age. I would rather live with my people than here. You are a wonderful person Johnny Deep. <3 you forever.

  • Avatar for Robert Stone Sr."Gray Feather"

    Robert Stone Sr."Gray Feather"


    It is always good to see anyone come back to the people,And yes The Old Ones are smiling and with their open Arms and Hearts.

  • Avatar for Cindy Sue "Crystal Owl Woman"

    It’s so wonderful that Johnny has found his Path back to the People! The Old Ones must be smiling! I know I am!

  • Avatar for Shawnee Bill

    Shawnee Bill


    So much about the claiming being Cherokee, he showed good respect, didn’t see a problem with the back ground of candles, and he always has talked slow also in he’s movies, by the way it was better then him talking in front of a Walmart’.

  • Avatar for Native Truth

    Native Truth


    Johnny has always claimed he was CHEROKEE….and now that he got adopted into a non cherokee tribe he been doing interviews like this with candles and speaking in slow motion O.o

  • Avatar for Chantal



    Oups, sorry… I posted two messages, thinking the first one had failed.

  • Avatar for James Dionne

    James Dionne


    Thank you for your words of encouragement they are good words and many blessing upon you.It will be awesome to cross paths one day at a powwow. Thank You

  • Avatar for sonia quiver

    sonia quiver


    Johnny,thankyou for your love and support for a race that washington has forgotten about.I wish you were president so something would be done about the way we are mistreated and presented in the movies nnd tv.pilamaya ye(thankyou),brother.

    • Avatar for chantal



      Hi sonia,
      I agree with you, it’s good to hear the love and support of Johnny Depp. I don’t know very well your conditions (you talk about mistreatment), but concerning the presentation of the native americans in the movies, I think there has been efforts made to show indians in another way than they were shown decades ago. I am a french woman, living in France and not necessarily in the best place to apprehend all this, but this is the impression I have. Anyway, I wish you all a wonderful powwow, and if this one is over, many others wonderful gatherings (I attended one years ago, and it was for me a magic moment). Sonia, at the end of your message you say “pilamaya ye”, you are probably the daughter of this wonderful Lakota nation ! I wish you all the best ! take care. chantal (from France)

    • Avatar for Chantal



      Hi Sonia ! I agree with you, it’s good to hear the support of Mr Depp. In your message you talk about “mistreatment”, being french, I don’t know the living conditions of you all,but concerning the movies, I think the image of the native american has changed, the scenarios are different, much more realistic than they were decades ago when the “indian” was presented as bad and violent. I wish you all a wonderful powwow, and if this one is over, many others wonderful gatherings ! Sonia, you end your message with “pilamaya ye”, I guess you are the daughter of the great Lakota nation, I have a deep respect for this nation in particular (I learned the history and some words of the language) ! I wish you all the best ! Chantal (from France):)

  • Avatar for Deb



    I couldnèt believe when i heard Johnny Depp was at a gave me a nice feeling knowing he was at was in New Mexico and im in Canada awwww…it still made me feel good either if he was here or there..i ve always loved watching Johnny in his movies..he such a good actor…i wish some day i could meet Johnny but thats probably never going to happen..nice thought why would he come to Canada :(..i was once a pow wow mom until my kids starting growing up and out grew their a single mom it was difficult to keep them going the traditional dancing.. they are now all grown up and they keep wishing they could continue dancing..i hope so because i still cant afford to keep them dancing lol..i would ve loved to have Johnny Depp watch my kids dance…good speech Johnny and great to hear you were at pow-wow, i hope you enjoyed yourself and met all kinds of Ojibway First Nations i hope some of them were ther in New Mexico…love you Johnny Depp

  • Avatar for Lynette Pablo

    Lynette Pablo


    Omg, would have been nice if you were here Johnny ^_^
    Have to meet you one of these days 🙂

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